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Indian Desserts

Updated on December 30, 2010

The top 10 Indian Sweet Dishes and why you shouldn't miss them!

India offers a large variety of foods, and a huge selection of sweets to go with it! This lens lists the top 10 Indian sweets that you should definitely not miss out on. These desserts may be North Indian or South Indian in origin, but they are known and loved all over the world. I have added links to various Indian Dessert recipe videos and also embedded one here. Remember to check them out!

I have listed them in the order they occurred to me, and not how great they are, so do go through the entire list! Go ahead, let these delectable dishes tickle your taste buds!

No.1: Rasgulla

India's favorite dessert. Will it become yours too?

Rasgulla (Pronunciation: ras-gul-la) is a very popular cheese based, syrupy sweet dish originally from Orissa. It is popular throughout India and the South Asian area. The dish is made from balls of chhena (which is a form of Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in sugar syrup.

The rasgulla originates in the town of Puri in coastal Orissa. In this town, the dish is traditional offering to the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi. It is an age-old custom within the temple to offer rasgullas to Lakshmi to appease her wrath for being ignored by her devotees, immediately after tha Annual Chariot Festival. Some scholars believe that this practice dates back over 600 years.

Want to try your hand at making rasgullas? Check this out:

Recipe for Rasgulla : Video

No.2: Gulab Jamun

Second on the list is the extremely popular Gulab Jamun.

Gulab Jamun is among India's most popular desserts! This delicious dessert is essentially a dumpling made of thickened or reduced milk, and then soaked in rose flavored sugar syrup.

It gets its name from two different words: Gulab which means rose (in Hindi, for the rose flavored syrup) and Jamun which is a kind of deep purple colored Indian berry (Gulab Jamuns are reddish to dark brown in color).

Gulab jamun is a sweet often presented at festivals or major celebrations such as marriages, the festival of lights Diwali etc.

Want to try your hand at making Gulab Jamuns? Check this out:

Recipe for Gulab Jamun : Video

No.3: Kaju Barfi

Kaju Barfi is third on the list!

Kaju or Kajoo Barfi (Pronunciation: Kaa-joo Bur-fee) is a type of Cashew Fudge. It usually presented in the form of a diamond-shaped bar. It is more of a take-away sweet, and is often presented to guests on auspicious occasions like the birth of a child, weddings etc.

Kaju literally means Cashewnut and Barfi is a type of Indian sweet dish, usually in the form of lozenge. Kaju Barfi pieces are sometimes decorated with edible silver foil that leave a tingly aftertaste.

It is rather expensive compared to other Indian sweets, but it is relished and gifted extensively in India.

Want to try your hand at making Kaju Barfi? Check this out:

Recipe for Kaju Barfi : Video

Kheer, also known as Payasam (Payas-Milk, Sanskrit) is a traditional South Asian sweet dish, made by boiling rice or broken wheat with milk and sugar, and flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, pistachios, almonds and other dry fruits. Kheer is simply rice pudding with spices and dry fruits.

It is typically served alongside a meal or also consumed alone as a stand alone dish There are many versions of Kheer within India itself, and is made in many homes routinely.

Want to try your hand at making Kheer? Check this out:

Recipe for Kheer : Video

No. 5: Laddoo

The Laddoo is fifth on the list!

Laddu or Laddoo or Ladoo is a sweet that is highly popular in various parts of South Asia. It is often prepared on festivals or household events such as weddings and births or given as a 'prasad' (god's blessings) at Hindu Temples.

It is made out of flour and a mixture of other ingredients rolled into balls. There are many different types of laddoos, such as Besan Laddoo, Boondi Laddoo, Motichur Laddoo etc. The laddoo can be made from gram flour (besan), semolina (rava or sajjige in Kannada), wheat flakes, and many other flours. The name is also a common nickname for sweet and lovely people.

Want to try your hand at making Besan Laddoos? Check this out:

Recipe for Besan Laddoo : Video

Gajar Halwa or Gajjar Halwa (Pronunciation: Gaa-jer Hull-wa) is an easy-to-make dish that is delectable and common in South Asian households. It is also one of the most famous north indian sweet items. Gajar Halwa rich in vitamin A as its main ingredient is carrot. It also has a lot of fat content since it uses a lot of clarified butter (ghee).

Gajar Halwa can be enjoyed hot or cold. Here's the recipe so you can try making it yourself!

Ingredients for carrot halwa:

1 kg Carrots

1 litre Milk

1 teaspoon Cardamom seeds

3/4 cup Water

3 tablespoons Ghee

2 tablespoons Raisins

2 tablespoons Almonds

2 tablespoons Pistachios

450 grams Sugar

Recipe for Gajar Halwa - Try making it at home!

Making Gajar Halwa - explained step by step.

No.7: Jalebi

The famous roadside sweetmeat, Jalebi is seventh on the list.

Jalebis are prepared by frying batter in a kind of pretzel shape then soaked in a sweet syrup. They can be served warm or cold. It has a somewhat chewy texture with a crystallized sugary exterior coating. The sugars are also partly fermented, thus adding flavor to the dish.

Jalebis are also sometimes made of chhena in the eastern states of India. Jalebi is a hot favourite on any and all special occasions.Jalebis though mostly eaten by themselves, can also be soaked in milk for taste.

Want to try your hand at making Jalebis? Check this out:

Recipe for Jalebi : Video

No.8: Kulfi

This Ice-cream like sweet is at number eight!

Kulfi or Qulfi is a popular flavored frozen dessert that is made from milk and is served cold. Kulfi originated in India and is popular throughou South Asian countries and even the Middle East. It has similarities to ice cream in taste, texture and preparation.

Unlike other ice cream, kulfi takes does not melt easily. It comes in various flavours, including pistachio, malai, rose, mango, cardamom (elaichi) etc which are the more traditional flavours, as well as newer variations like apple, orange etc.

Want to try your hand at making Pista Kulfi? Check this out:

Recipe for Pista Kulfi : Video

In Maharashtra where I live, Puran Poli is a hot favorite of the people. It is made mostly during holi when the bonfire is lit to kill the demon Holika. The stuffing is known as puran and the covering is known as poli.

Making Puran Poli involves a bit of effort, but once you start eating, you'll realize it's well worth it! Puran Poli can be had with cream, aamras or shrikhand, though it is usually had as a stand-alone dish.

Want to try your hand at making Puran Poli? Check this out:

Recipe for Puran Poli : Video

No.10: Shrikhand

Shrikhand is a type of sweetened yoghurt, and is tenth on the list!

Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish made of strained yogurt. It is an important part of cuisine in Western India. It is also served with Gujarati meals sometimes as a sweet dish. Preparation of this dish is very simple but time consuming, since yogurt has to be processed properly. Below is a recipe to make shrikhand at home - do check it out.

We've reached the end of our long list, and I hope you enjoyed reading this lens! If you get an opportunity to taste any Indian desserts, now you know what to choose :)

Want to try your hand at making Shrikhand? Check this out:

Recipe for Shrikhand : Video

Which of these do you like the most? - Or think you like the most, based on the description!

Choose your answer!

See results

Appreciation from Squidoo

Thank you, Angels!

SquidAngels traverse the Squidoo world looking for blessworthy lenses that give something to the community. This lens was blessed by the angels theraggededge , d-artist, kiwisoutback, darciefrench, Spook and SquidooKimberly.

Thank you so much!

Want to learn how to make more great Indian dishes at home?

There's minimum advertising on this lens. So support me and do look through the following cookbooks. Plenty of Indian recipes to keep you occupied!

Liked my lens? Or not? Let me know!

Please leave your comments!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I Love Rasgulla its my one of favorite dish in Indian desserts ... :-) :-).

    • indigomoth profile image

      indigomoth 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I love halwa so much... it's one of my favorite desserts. I'll have to try some of the others on this list as well!

    • irminia profile image

      irminia 4 years ago

      I love Indian deserts!

    • profile image

      seoanushka 5 years ago

      Lovely lens...I love all sweets but laddoo is my favorite

    • profile image

      mozapriyanka 5 years ago

      very nice collection of Indian recipes...

    • stacytm lm profile image

      stacytm lm 5 years ago

      These foods look lovely!

    • estellaeffects lm profile image

      estellaeffects lm 5 years ago

      Love rasgulla...

    • wolvyz profile image

      wolvyz 5 years ago

      Ever thing looks so tasty. I think you missed out "gajar ka haluwa".

    • profile image

      tranqui 5 years ago

      Good stuff which I could use someday. Thanks.

    • WayneDave LM profile image

      WayneDave LM 5 years ago

      Tried a lot of these, I love Indian food. Thanks for sharing this.

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 5 years ago

      Wow, some of these I definitely have to try. Thanks for opening my eyes.

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 6 years ago

      great lens... I have some lenses with Indian recipes too... :)

    • profile image

      masunyoananda 6 years ago

      wow great lens.....

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      for more food recipes please visit... www.howindia.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      For more food recipes kindly visit www.howindia.com

    • cbessa profile image

      cbessa 6 years ago

      There is a restaurant nearby my place, they have a dessert like this rice pudding and it's really delicious, although the first time i ate it I thought it was a bit strange.

    • JetAviator7 LM profile image

      John M. White 6 years ago from Michigan

      That Kulfi looks delicious - like it would go great with a cup of coffee from my keurig b60 coffee maker.

    • profile image

      sustainableartist 6 years ago

      Mm, awesome lens! I love kheer, and have lately gotten more into qalaqand. I like the "sweets" too that you can get in the bakery, would love to see a sequel to this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yum! I'll have the Carrot Pudding thanks :o)

    • divacratus 2 profile image

      divacratus 2 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens! I'm from India and I absolutely love the sweets here. Gajar ka halwa is my favorite :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Nice recipes. Congrats on LOTD. Now featured on Squidoo LOTD Lenses.

    • profile image

      nizaDy 6 years ago

      Super nice lens! The desserts all look so delicious and interesting!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Ooooh, I just LOVE Indian food, and especially Indian desserts! Having recipes for Rasgulla and Gulab Jamun is a real treat. Thanks so much for creating this lens!

    • profile image

      sussexwine 6 years ago

      Great lens! I'll definitely be trying out the recipe for Gajar Halwa, you should check out my lens about Indian Wine - http://www.squidoo.com/a-brief-history-of-indian-w... - I feel it goes rather well with yours and it needs someone to leave a comment or two on it!

    • profile image

      Deeishere 6 years ago

      I am just learning about Indian food. Your food looks great!

    • profile image

      milleetary 6 years ago

      Out of all of the desserts, the Kheer looks the most appealing to me. I have always been a sucker for rice pudding, might have to give this one a try someday.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      I've done a bit of US travel for business, and have been fortunate to find a good Indian restaurant in nearly every city I've visited. My favorite was in Ann Arbor, near my sister's home. I will try the recipe for Gajar Halwa soon. Congratulations on your LOTD!

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 6 years ago

      There is an entire culture on this lens. Wow, I have such a huge knowledge deficit in this arena, You have helped with improving that. thank you

    • antoivo lm profile image

      antoivo lm 6 years ago

      I liked it congratulations on receiving lot d for this it deserves it im hungry now for one of these meals they look tastey well done thumbs up..

    • jolielaide75 profile image

      jolielaide75 6 years ago

      My daughter and I love Indian foods! I will definitely be trying out some of these and veganizing them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hey! Congrats! Nice lens! Very interesting... love Indian Food by the way!

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 6 years ago

      Number 2, the Gulab Jamun, sounds right up my alley and totally delicious! Yumm! Congratulations on LOTD and all of your angel blessings - well deserved, indeed! :-)

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 6 years ago

      I tried "Rasgulla" at a friend's place..all I can say is its very addictive. And you know there are apparently over a dozen types of Rasgullas alone!! Fascinating!

      Congratulations on LOTD. Very well deserved.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      Great job on this very educational lens. Congrats on earning Lens of the Day! Well done.

    • profile image

      MathGenius 6 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens! I will consider these choices and choose my favourite on my trip to India

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Just looking at these foods I've never heard of has made me a bit hungry. I hope to try some and possibly learn to make some at home. I like this lens.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      I had a professor from India when in college..a small college..who invited our class over to his home for a traditional Indian dinner...I will never forget it, it was a delicious experience. These desserts look so different from things I'm used to and so interesting. Congrats on LOTD

    • profile image

      DebMartin 6 years ago

      I imagine so many of us chose the "I just can't make up my mind" option in your poll because we have not tried them. Now I'm on a mission to try as many Indian desserts as I can. Thanks for a great lens.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I love Indian bread, but never tried the 'sweets' I will have to now

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 6 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on a delicious LotD!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I love Indian bread but never tried the 'sweets' I will have to now

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      Congratulations on your LOTD! Lots of yummy Indian desserts here!

    • dryder profile image

      dryder 6 years ago

      Congrats on making LOTD ... excellent lens, great work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for all those great recipes :)

    • SheilaVine LM profile image

      SheilaVine LM 6 years ago

      Great lens Love indian food

    • profile image

      PaulineBennett 6 years ago

      All these recipes look wonderful, thanks for sharing. I will be trying them out sometime very soon.

    • The-Java-Gal profile image

      The-Java-Gal 6 years ago

      I love Indian food, but have never tried the sweets, Beautiful pictures. Congrats on LOTD.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 6 years ago from USA

      This is a heavenly recipe lens.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love Indian sweets (desserts) and have pretty much tried all of these. Kaju Barfi is one of my favourites. Congrats on LotD! :)

    • profile image

      kt_glasses 6 years ago

      Great lens! I love Indian food and what you've listed here are amazing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A wonderfully illustrated lens. Thank you.

    • Sensational Color profile image

      Kate Smith 6 years ago from Ashburn, VA

      Yummy lens!

    • JakTraks profile image

      Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

      The Cashew Fudge looks soooo good. Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      LadyFae 6 years ago

      Thank you for that ever so tasty lens...and congrats of course.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is one yummy, delicious lens. Congrats on LOTD!

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Of course...I couldn't make up my mind in the voting poll. All these Indian desserts look fabulous, and some of them seem to be healthy to boot! "Barfi" is probably not a good name for serving this dish within the US. (To barf = to vomit) Oh, yeah...don't we have a lensmaster named Laddoo?

    • desilegend profile image

      desilegend 6 years ago

      My favorite sweet is kaju barfi. My nickname is Kaju monster. LOL! Yummy lens and I have lensrolled to my Besan Barfi lens.

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      Great lens showcasing Indian desserts! I will try some of the recipes as I have a sweettooth and my teenage son most certainly does, see you around the galaxy...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love your lens, good job.

    • profile image

      soaringsis 6 years ago

      I am going to try some of these recipes, looks very good.

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image

      Chocolatealchemy 6 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Great Lens and what a brain wave to share recipes for Indian desserts with us; these are mostly all new to me, so thank you. Congratulations on LOTD

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      The only dessert here that I have actually tried was the rice pudding, and it was amazing. Great lens.

    • profile image

      AdriennePetersen 6 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      Gulab Jamun is my favorite. It is so delicious. I have had many of the sweets listed here, but not all. This is such a fun lens, and brings back great memories of Indian sweets. Congratulations on your Lens of the Day achievement!

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 6 years ago

      I love rasgulla. Maybe I should create a lens on Arsa. It is from Uttarakhand and made using rice paste and jaggery. Not soft like most other Indian sweets. Cool lens!

    • profile image

      AdamLitwin 6 years ago

      great lens!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Wow, these Indian desserts all look delicious! Congrats on LotD

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      I like your lens. The rice pudding would be my first choice here.

    • profile image

      glowchick 6 years ago

      This a yummy lens~ I love Indian Food and hope to try some of these delicious desserts :)

      Congrats on being LOTD!

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 6 years ago

      Looks good. I'm going to have to try some of these. My daughter won't eat anything that isn't familiar, maybe I can tempt her with desserts! Thanks for the info, and congratulations on LOTD!

      -Art Haule

    • jenms lm profile image

      jenms lm 6 years ago

      I've never tried any of these. The photo at the top looks intriguing though! Great lens - and great layout. Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      Beautifully presented. Congratulations on LOTD. Well deserved.

    • CynzdaReveur profile image

      CynzdaReveur 6 years ago

      Wow..this is unique and really informative..

      Congrats on LotD..=)

    • Sharlee01 profile image

      Sharon Stajda 6 years ago from Shelby Township Michigan

      I so enjoyed this lens... The dishes all looked so good. Hope to give a recipe a try. Shar

    • profile image

      Sadheeskumar 6 years ago

      Very tasty lens. I have tasted 5 items in this list for the Diwali. Still few more sweets are left in my home, If anyone wants, I can send. LOL.. Good Work Abseaz.

    • SAMEPRINCESS10 profile image

      SAMEPRINCESS10 6 years ago

      HI! WHAT'S THE BREAD CALLED? THAT YOU CAN DIP IN YOUR VEGGIE SOUP. DO YOU HAVE ANY MANGO JUICE TO GO WITH THAT? THANKS! G.B.F.N. K.I.T. PRINCESS10

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 6 years ago

      LOTD - wow and this lens is great, I can't wait to try the recipes they sound delicious

    • Enigmaa8 profile image

      Enigmaa8 6 years ago

      congratulations on becoming Lens of the Day! Well Deserved!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 6 years ago from Concord VA

      Very interesting desserts! Congratulations on LotD!!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Laddoo LM: Laddoo, what made you vote for Laddoo? I could never guess in 100 years!

      This is such a lovely, mouthwatering lens that it deserved to be lens of the Day

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      I love Indian desserts, so sweet and perfect after a spicy meal. or with the afternoon coffee...in other words- they are always perfect!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Gulab Jamun!! I love these. I always take these when I order or go to an Indian restaurant. I also tried Kheer a couple of time, but definitely nothing beats Gulab Jamun for me!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      really a great lens. congrats on lotd.

    • profile image

      HaryoPinandito 6 years ago

      congratz on become LOTD! :D

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congrats on a well deserved LOTD. I haven't had any of these great sounding Indian Desserts but would sure love to try them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hey,

      You have listed all my favorites. Kaju barfi is my favorite - mind you it is high on calories. All Indian desserts are like that but you can take special care not to prepare them with high calorie stuff and then it might not taste delicious.

      I like Puran Podi with Shrikhand or Indian ghee, rasgulla and jalebi too.

    • DRomaxx profile image

      Diana Romaxx 6 years ago from Chicago

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • iamradiantrose profile image

      iamradiantrose 6 years ago

      This is a super choice for LOTD! I love Indian food and I am looking forward to trying some of your recipes! Great site...my mouth is watering already.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      I can't give a thumbs up as I have already visited your lens previously and left one. I am not surprised that this lens is LOTD, congrats. I am lensrolling this to my onion bhaji and curry recipe lenses :)

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 6 years ago from Royalton

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing all these delicious dishes.Interesting lens.

    • Laddoo LM profile image

      Lloyd Pinto 6 years ago from Mumbai

      I had to vote for Laddoo!!

    • HtCares profile image

      HtCares 6 years ago

      Yummy lens...I would like to try the Kulfi, but they all look delicious. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! all of the desserts look delicious, would like to try them all.

    • profile image

      jgelien 6 years ago

      I have never tried any of these desserts but they look delicious. Great lens.

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 6 years ago

      Yummy Lens! Congratulations on lens of the day.

    • rayban malaysia profile image

      rayban malaysia 6 years ago

      we don normally see so many types of desserts at shops, thanks for the information and recepies. hohoho. if possible make some of them and send to us.

    • ZablonMukuba profile image

      ZablonMukuba 6 years ago

      congratulations on LoTD

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I've been to India once (Pune for a month) and had the chance to have a few of these desserts. My favorites were the jalebis, the kaju barfi, and gulab jamun.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Never been a fan of Indian recipes & delicacies but it seems I would be seeing the delectable desserts featured on this lens.